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Malaysian model for various kinds of pomade made by a barber


Kevin Cottie Tan was by no means happy with the hair gel and pomade choices available in the market. Again in 2012 as a 22-year-old, he simply couldn’t discover something appropriate sufficient for his hair to face up to Malaysia’s humid, tropical local weather.

After discovering a pomade recipe on a web-based discussion board, he gathered components to whip up a product in his house kitchen. The end result was an oil and wax-based pomade which had a medium to sturdy maintain with partial shine. When Kevin grew to become a barber in 2015, he lastly launched his pomade to market beneath the model Mentega, which is the Malay phrase for “butter”.

What makes an excellent pomade for contemporary males

Glossy and glossy end / Picture Credit score: Mentega

The barber didn’t have a complete lot of choices for pomades again then; there have been solely a few common manufacturers like Suavecito and Shiner Gold that have been staples available in the market. Nevertheless, they primarily supplied gel or water-based pomades.

“These labored properly however having choices like conventional oil-based pomades would’ve been nice. I used to be inquisitive about conventional pomade and needed to realize 2 targets from making my very own. The primary was [its] maintain and sturdiness beneath the recent and humid tropical local weather, and the second was large product portions,” he shared. 

Mentega’s merchandise are made with nourishing components like cocoa butter and important oils. Totally different wax blends are additionally combined in to realize an excellent maintain and stand up to the warmth.

Bottled in 6oz (170g) jars that price RM69 every, Mentega’s merchandise even have barely extra in quantity in comparison with these available on the market which have been typically too small, at 4oz (113g). For Kevin, who appreciated to maintain his hair neatly slicked again, he’d empty the small jars in 3 weeks.

Mentega affords a couple of various kinds of pomades, clay, paste, cream, and water-based ones. The distinction between every of them is the maintain and end (matte or shiny). 

“For individuals who favor extra pure and matte wanting finishes, we suggest the Creamy Clay and Swim Salt Spray. For one thing with extra shine, the Whippy Hair Cream and Analogue Paste. If one thing very versatile that may considerably do all the pieces in between, the Lagoon Water-Based mostly Pomade,” defined the barber.

“A helpful tip is to make use of sufficient product and all the time distribute the product evenly in your hair. We normally discover that folks wrestle with styling as a result of they use too little product.” 

From brewing in a house kitchen to delivery globally

All merchandise stay handmade within the barbershop’s kitchen / Picture Credit score: Mentega

Regardless of promoting his pomades via stockists round 7 nations, Kevin informed Vulcan Submit that every one of Mentega’s merchandise are nonetheless handmade by himself and 1 different group member. That is all finished within the again kitchen of his barbershop, The Oven Cuttery in PJ.

“Having to juggle between working as a barber throughout the day and ensuring the batches have been made on time and jars [were] labelled at evening made it really feel like I used to be working two full time jobs,” shared Kevin. He clarified that this doesn’t occur day by day, however takes up at the very least half of his week. “I used to be undoubtedly sleep disadvantaged. I believe I nonetheless am,” he joked.

Mentega’s progress got here at a really gradual but natural tempo. Having spent extra time on the merchandise’ R&D, Kevin by no means actually bothered to place a lot effort into advertising.

Fortunately for him, he was working as a barber and had the possibility to make use of his pomades on his personal shoppers. “Styling for shoppers with the pomade itself was the proper approach to educate them in regards to the merchandise. For greasers (oil-based pomade lovers), it was one extra choice to the slim selections that have been accessible within the Malaysian market on the time,” Kevin informed Vulcan Submit.

The model gained extra consideration after a few years when manufacturing for it was moved out of Kevin’s house kitchen to The Oven Cuttery. “I used to be making about 10% to twenty% year-on-year progress the primary few years, and it’s been steadily rising since,” he added.

Most of Mentega’s prospects are male younger adults and millennials aged round 20 to 40. It’s additionally no shock that a lot of them comprise those that already use pomade and are curious to find out about grooming whereas getting their hair styled on the barbershop. 

So far, Mentega ships their styling merchandise to salons across the nation and abroad, together with the US, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Kevin shared that the latter SEA nations consist of a big portion of Mentega’s gross sales. He additionally informed us that Mentega’s month-to-month income is roughly RM10,000 on common. 

Making an influence on prospects

Buttery easy software / Picture Credit score: Mentega

Since Kevin’s expertise in 2012 with restricted hair merchandise available in the market, he famous that pomade choices have now advanced. Malaysians as we speak can simply discover totally different product classes from all over the world catering to varied varieties of existence, hair sorts, and preferences. 

Innovation and creativity are getting higher every day. On the core of all of it, Mentega focuses on the wants of our shoppers. The first problem isn’t to create one thing to fulfill these wants, however quite to find and discover what the unnoticed wants are within the first place. If we are able to create one thing that solves an issue the shopper by no means noticed earlier than, then we’ve crafted an ideal product.

Kevin Cottie Tan, co-founder of Mentega.

Kevin’s not stopping there both. He plans to maintain making items that transcend hair merchandise and will probably be specializing in extra lifestyle-based merchandise centred round grooming.

The barber ideally desires to make Mentega a staple model within the native marketplace for hair merchandise.

  • You may be taught extra about Mentega right here.
  • You may examine different Malaysian startups right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Kevin Cottie Tan, co-founder of Mentega.





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